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Embroidery Art the new hype

Volupt Art

Embroidered Art Isn’t as Simple as You Think

Embroidery isn’t exactly a new art – and it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of art trends. But a new generation of embroidery artists are pushing the boundaries of this timeless craft, creating new and bold works of art that are catching the eyes of Instagram users.

A Brief History of Embroidery

The art of embroidery has been around for centuries. We’ve found works in China that date back to the Warring States period (5th-3rd century BC). Embroidery was also found on a garment from the Migration period in Sweden, which dates back to 300-700 AD.

The ancient Greeks believed that embroidery was passed down from the goddess Athena. Athena has also been credited with giving us weaving.

In the 1100s, we saw smaller pearls being sewn on vellum to embellish religious items. From the 1200s through the 1300s, beads were embroidered onto clothing.

In the 1500s, embroidery became more lavish in Europe and other parts of the world. Through the 1700s, elaborate threads and beads were very popular. We see beaded embroidery on court dresses, layette baskets, home furnishings and many other items.

Elaborate embroidery, whether it’s on clothing, household items or religious objects, has long been a symbol of wealth and status in many cultures, including those in ancient India, Persia, Japan, China and medieval Europe.

Young women in wealthy households were taught embroidery from an early age, and it was considered a valuable skill.

Freehand embroidery began to dwindle with the introduction of the machine age in the 1800s.

How Embroidery Works

It sounds like a simple concept, but embroidery is much more complicated than you think. You’ll only need a few tools (needle, thread, fabric and hoop – which is technically optional), but you’ll need a whole lot of artistic talent to create a true work of art.

Embroidery artists use a wide range of stitches, colors and techniques to bring their visions to life. The artist’s skillful application of color allows her to create the illusion of highlights and shadows.

But it’s not just the use of color that makes embroidery art so impressive; it’s the use of various stitches, such as:

  • Running stitch
  • Backstitch
  • Split stitch
  • Stem stitch
  • Satin stitch
  • French knots
  • Chain stitch
  • Lazy daisy
  • Feather stitch
  • Feed stitch

Creating the stitch itself is an art which requires skill and a steady hand.

Embroidery can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be.

Modern Embroidery Art

Throughout its history, embroidery has gone through many transformations. It has always been an art form, but until recently, it was a more practical art. Embroidery adds beauty and character to fabric. Today, we’re seeing embroidery being used as a painting or sculpture would be used. It, in itself, is the art. Embroidery hoops are replacing hanging frames and sculpture stands.

Embroidered artwork is making a big wave in the art world. Yes, the art world. No longer is this craft limited to the fashion sector.

Artist Ana Teresa Barboza takes her art beyond the boundaries of the embroidery hoop. Her works come to life, as thread spills off of the hoop and out into the world to create a 3D effect.

Embroidered Art by Ana Teresa Barboza

Lithuanian artist Severija Incirauskaite-Kriauneviciene is pushing the limits on how we apply embroidery. Generally, we see embroidery applied to fabric – and usually within an embroidery hoop. But Severija applies her decorative stitches to unconventional objects, like cars and rusty metal buckets. She adds a touch of warmth and beauty to the otherwise cold objects she applies them to.

Embroidered Art by Severija X a great artist

The Art of Silk, a U.S.- and China-based company, produces stunning works of silk embroidery art. Using vibrant colors, the company produces portraits, landscapes, still life scenes and more. All works are hand-stitched by Suzhou, a master artisan.

Embroidered Art by Suzhoupart of the Art of Silk

Cape Town-based artist Danielle Clough is brilliant with her use of color to bring her embroidery works to life. While most of her work is done the traditional way (on fabric using an embroidery hoop), she has also applied her skill to unconventional objects, like her embroidered tennis rackets.

Jose Romussi, a Chilean artist, adds embroidery to vintage black and white photographs, primarily of dancers. His threads add pops of color and interest to the dancers’ outfits.

Mixed media artist Izziyana Suhaimi combines embroidery with drawing and watercolors to create truly unique pieces of art.




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Installation day! #rkfa

A post shared by Izziyana Suhaimi (@izziyanasuhaimi) on

Artist Debbie Smyth, based in Gloucestershire, England, uses thread to blur the line between illustration and embroidery. She uses black thread to masterfully mimic pencil strokes, adding more thread to bolden lines and create depth.

Perhaps one of the most impressive artists (if you enjoy hyperrealism) is Cayce Zavaglia. She uses embroidery to mimic the look of a classic oil painting. Her works are so realistic that it’s hard to believe they’re not photographs.

Anastassia Elias creates large-scale string art that she installs in public places. From a tight-roping elephant to a giant pair of lungs, the artist’s whimsical style has captured the attention of many art lovers.

Instagram user Wearesunbreakable uses her account to show off her beautiful embroidered creations. She turns her embroidered designs into patches that are easily sewn to garments, pinned as broaches or attached to objects. She combines thread with sequin, beads and other materials to create subtle texture and details in her works.



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*вылезает из горы салатов и ползет к круассанам* Привет! ⠀ Немного отошли от привычного и попробовали изобразить пейзаж 🌉 Он небольшой, но вышивали мы долго. Помните же, как мы 28 декабря спрашивали, успеем ли закончить до Нового года? 😂 Завершить к Рождеству — пожалуй, даже лучше 🙌 ⠀ Завтра покажем, какая у нас получилась брошка, а пока… Расскажите: вам уже удалось воплотить свои рукодельные планы в начале января? ⛅ ⠀

A post shared by sunbreakable | вышитые броши (@wearesunbreakable) on

Alice Kozlow uses a similar technique, combining thread with sequin, beads and other materials. Many of her pieces are applied to quilts, but some are transformed into earrings as wearable works of art.


We’re also seeing artists taking a more modern approach in design to the classic embroidery craft. Instagram user _depicnic_ creates modern works of embroidered art featuring animals, flowers and people. She also creates custom pieces for customers.



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✨Here’s my best nine✨ ✏️🧵🧶✂️

A post shared by depicnic (@_depicnic_) on

Another interesting concept is the one of Tessa van Helden. We had the opportunity to see her concept thanks to the awarded Dutch photographer Margi Geerlinks as it was part of the opening of Galerie 158 in Schiedam property of Geerlinks. Visiting her website is worth wile, as she has an excellent eye for curating pieces. 


What was once a forgotten craft is now seeing a resurgence thanks to artists like these. I hope we continue seeing artists push the boundaries of embroidery, adding stitches of color into our lives and making us rethink our definition of traditional art.


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